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Published: Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:28:57 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2018 16:28:57 GMT


The difference between a snafu, a shitshow, and a clusterfuck

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:49:07 GMT

Let's say the situation at work is not good. The project (or product, or re-org, or whatever) has launched, and the best you can say is that things aren't going as planned. At all. It's a disaster, though the best word for it is the one you drop over drinks with your team and when venting at home: it's a clusterfuck. [...] To appreciate what a clusterfuck is—and to understand how to avoid one—it is first helpful to clarify some of the things a clusterfuck is not.

I'm A Millionaire In Paris, In Raggedy Man's Disguise

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:09:55 GMT

First named Spencer Tracy, the Dundee-based trio needed to rename after the estate of the actor threatened to sue. They chose Danny Wilson, after the eponymous Frank Sinatra character in "Meet Danny Wilson".
Signed to Virgin Records in 1986, their first album came out a year later, and spawned a world wide hit about a girl named Mary, but a careful listen to the entire album reveals a great deal more than just a girl praying.

Mary's Prayer
Lorraine Parade
Nothing Ever Goes To Plan
Broken China
Steamtrains To The Milky Way
You Remain An Angel
Ruby's Golden Wedding
A Girl I Used To Know
Five Friendly Aliens
I Won't Be Here When You Go Home

Kudos to HippyBear for the encouragement and making this look so simple

I live my life with strangers

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:49:03 GMT

Just five years years after his debut effort, Barry Manilow was able to release a double album of Greatest Hits, and if you're of a certain age, you know all these songs already. Side A: Mandy, New York City Rhythm, Ready To Take A Chance Again, Looks Like We Made It, Daybreak

Side B: Can't Smile Without You, It's A Miracle, Even Now, Bandstand Boogie, Tryin' To Get The Feeling Again

Side C: Could It Be Magic, Somewhere In The Night, Jump Shout Boogie, Weekend In New England, All The Time [crappy fan video]

Side D: This One's For You, Copacabana (At The Copa), Beautiful Music, I Write The Songs

The enduring appeal of Mr. Brightside

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 12:14:28 GMT

There's some hot fuss about the song Mr. Brightside by The Killers which, after an initially poor chart run, has now totalled 200 weeks in the UK Top 100. Here, it's averaged 878,000 streaming service plays a week this year, and is the most streamed track released prior to 2010; it also remains popular in the USA. Matrimonially banned from singing it, the song is firmly embedded in popular culture and can be spoken as sports commentary, as many covers abound and memes proliferate. As ubiquitous as Snow Patrol's Chasing Cars from 2006, next year there will be teenagers born *after* both these songs were released. The Google autocomplete lyrics and the actual lyrics; the original demo and back story. (Previously)

A look back at sad rap: hip-hop has never been too cool for despair

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 05:01:40 GMT

In January 2018, The New Yorker ran the article Lil Xan and the Year in Sad Rap, in which Carrie Battan provides a snapshot of a recent trend where "a cohort of young musicians embraced a depressive sound and became stars." Except the article misses the (slightly) longer history of this sub-genre, focusing on the recent past where Lil Uzi Vert's XO Tour Llif3 is a pinnacle of modern melancholy machismo, but missing 16 year old Yung Lean and his tongue-in-cheek cable broadcast "sadboy" aesthetic earlier in the current sad rap trend, back in 2013. And that's not the beginning, just another starting point. According to Pigeons and Planes' History of Sad Rap in 2013, Little Pain was the Brooklyn rapper at the forefront of the sad rap movement, along with Yung Lean Doer, but far from the first rappers to talk about the sadness and grief that the artists and their peers were experiencing. Pigeons' article is old enough that their links and embedded videos aren't all active any more, but the text is still a good overview through 2013, so here's an updated summary of notable singles, albums and mixtapes: Despair in the Birth of Hip-Hop: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - "The Message" (1982) -- "a grave story song about trying to maintain your cool in a hopeless place" Melle Mel - "White Lines (Don't Do It)" (1983) -- "criticized the era's dangerous dalliances with cocaine" Darkness and Horror in the Early to Mid 90s: Houston's Geto Boys - "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" (1991) -- the group "staked their career on this fixation on the darkness, and their violent, occultish oeuvre is one of the foundations of the horror-core subgenre," and in this single, "the dark and the hurt squared off" in "an indispensable hip-hop classic" Scarface - "I Seen a Man Die" (1994) -- "a voice that could believably commute angst" was "put it to stunning use on a tale of inner city hopelessness and loss of life" Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang [YT pl] (1993), specifically "Can It All Be So Simple" and "Tearz," and "even the get money anthem "C.R.E.A.M." was shot through with devastating lines like Inspectah Deck's "As the world turns I learned life is hell." " Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die (1994) -- "filled with paranoiac musings on the ways he expected his line of work to lead to his demise," But "on deep cuts like "Everyday Struggle" ("I don't wanna live no more/Sometimes I hear death knocking at my front door") and album closer "Suicidal Thoughts" he brought his own sadness front and center in the music" 2Pac - "How Long Will They Mourn Me?" (1994) and Me Against the World (1995) -- the album "is full of sad rap precursors is full of sad rap precursors like "So Many Tears" ("Back in elementary, I thrived on misery") and "Lord Knows" ("I smoke a blunt to take the pain out/If I wasn't high, I'd probably try to blow my brains out")." Sad rap hits the charts in the mid-to-late '90s Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - "Tha Crossroads" (1995) -- "one of the most nakedly sorrowful hits of the era" Puff Daddy and Faith Evans featuring 112 - "I'll Be Missing You" (1997) -- "the passing of Biggie prompted Diddy to flip "Every Breath You Take" into [that year's] multi-platinum smash" DMX - "Slippin' " (1998) -- "deeply personal ... travelogue about his struggles with drugs" Nas - "We Will Survive" (1999) -- "tucked ... away in the middle of I Am... [YT pl], one of his most adroitly commercial solo efforts" Wu-Tang Clan - "I Can't Go To Sleep" (2000) -- "wherein Ghostface and RZA literally cry about injustice over a loop of Isaac Hayes' epic 1970 cover of "Walk On By". " Jay-Z - "Where Have You Been" and "This Can't Be Life" [Soundcloud Go+ samples] (2000) -- in the latter, he "opened up about a girlfriend's miscarriage and an absentee father ... [with] another Scarface appearance on a sad rap classic" Jay-Z - "Song Cry" (2001 album release, as a single in 2002) And the[...]

Strangely graceful creatures and spirits

Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:41:44 GMT

The Original Little Mermaid: Amber Sparks writes on Kay Nielsen, Disney and the sanitization of the modern fairy tale. previously.

Big butter

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:35:59 GMT

"And while it is true, as Yudkin (previously) divulges, that his sugar theory aroused opposition from those who believed saturated fat was the culprit in heart disease, the image of him as a shunned prophet, preaching in the wilderness and hounded by agents of industry, leaves out the extent to which his research was disbelieved mainly because the evidence supporting it did not hold up to scrutiny. High-profile attempts to replicate Yudkin's signature finding that heart attack sufferers tended to be heavy sugar users flat-out failed. Present-day Yudkin disciples have also looked past the extent to which his research was richly supported by the food industry."

The Slate article's authors wrote in more detail in a (paywalled) article for Science.

"LOL...aaaand goku & naruto are real ones "

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 21:32:21 GMT

It's Time To Stop Acting Like Nobody Watches Anime [Kotaku] "Despite the genre's overwhelming popularity, people act as if anime is still a niche interest. When celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Michael B. Jordan say that they're fans, or Britney Spears posts pictures of her son's Dragon Ball Z fanart on Instagram, fellow anime-enjoyers are shocked. Anime has actually been mainstream for a couple of decades now." • The Anime Fandom Just Got Real About Its Gatekeeping Woes [Comicbook] "Anime fans should be familiar with gatekeeping as the issue has persistently dogged the fandom for years. Like with comic books or any once-niche medium, anime has experienced growing pains as it becomes more mainstream. Decades ago, it was frowned upon to even mention anime in public. It was almost impossible to get legally imported anime in the US, but that culture has since changed. Nowadays, watching anime is as easy as logging into Netflix or turning on Adult Swim. Hot Topic carries all kinds of anime merchandise, and conventions like Anime Expo are becoming known as some of the country's biggest. The anime community is growing leaps each year, but the fandom began wrestling with gatekeeping accusations all thanks to Kim Kardashian. Late last week, the reality mogul caught the world off-guard when she revealed she was a big anime fan. Not only did Kardashian say she died her famously blond hair pink because of her otaku interests, but she took her love of anime a step further. The celeb revealed she dyed her hair after seeing Zero Two from Darling in the Franxx, a new anime done by Trigger and A-1 Pictures." • What Kim Kardashian Liking Anime Means For Geek Culture [Geek] "This pushback against mainstream celebrities being into anime illustrates one of the greatest weaknesses of the geek community – our tendency to be exclusive in a negative way. The implication that Kardashian is a "fake geek girl" who can't name five anime series that she watches is a classic example of something that's been happening for years, as self-declared gatekeepers of a fandom struggle to come to terms with its expanding popularity. We've seen it happen with comic books, as ranting YouTube men bluster about unqualified "diversity hires" even as Marvel movies soar to the top of the box office. We've seen it happen with video games as female streamers get excoriated by anonymous commenters who aren't satisfied with their skills or cleavage. It's not surprising that anime would have the same idiotic backlash brewing. But why shouldn't Kim K. like anime? She grew up with it, just like we all did. Sailor Moon hit American screens in 1995. Just because she's rich doesn't mean she got different cartoons on TV as a kid." • Is Anime 'Cool' Now? An Investigation [Broadly.] "In my senior year of high school, I became a fan of anime. I was not uncool as a suburban teen—which is to say that I wasn't a loser, but also everyone thought (half-correctly) that I was a witch who did BDSM spells in my basement and approached me with a sense of general trepidation as a result. Because I was not uncool, I did not advertise my interest in the oft-maligned medium; I would come home from school and watch literal hours of Naruto, a show about adolescent ninjas primarily targeted at boys age 13 to 18, and set my AIM away message to something like "outtttt, hit my cell." It has come to my attention in recent days that anime is cool now. I first began to suspect this stunning reversal of fortune a few weeks ago, when I saw several clips of Michael B. Jordan professing his love for the highly stylized form of animated entertainment, and then did a search for every time he had tweeted "Naruto," as any diligent reporter would. His stance on the genre coul[...]

Black cancer matters

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 21:07:51 GMT

Five-year relative survival is lower for blacks than whites for most cancers at each stage of diagnosis. A 2017 documentary looks at cancer rates in a Georgia Pacific (Koch Brothers) company town, and posits that the economic consequences of racial discrimination increase cancer risk.

More on disparities in cancer outcomes in the US, increasing breast cancer rates among African-American women, colorectal cancer outcomes in blacks and whites, a more aggressive type of endometrial cancer in black women, and cervical cancer.

These same visions

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:53:21 GMT

Self-referred as a hybrid form of Krautrock, neo-psychedelia and art punk, Suuns' 2013 release Images Du Futur, featured 20/20 and Edies's Dream. Their latest Felt, according to Pitchfork, "sees the four-piece loosen up and let slip the forces begging for release since their debut". The first three songs for a taste: Watch You, Watch Me, Look No Further and X-ALT.

Cabbage Juice is the New Snake Oil

Sun, 18 Mar 2018 20:15:23 GMT

Jillian Epperly's recipe for a fermented cabbage slurry that makes "waterfalls" of diarrhea made her the head of what she called a "poop cult." Thousands embraced her dangerous pseudoscience before a grassroots movement began working to shut her down when Facebook wouldn't. A fascinating and horrifying account of how dangerous misinformation can entrench itself in the minds of some, who then adamantly resist all debunking or warnings from better-informed, concerned outsiders.